William A. Brandt Jr., the turnaround specialist who was tapped Monday to handle the cleanup job at Mercury Finance Co., has had a hand in writing the rule book that he may soon have to follow.

Mr. Brandt, 45, a friend of and sometime adviser to President Clinton, has been credited with helping to formulate the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1994. He also lobbied for the appointment of Brady Williamson as director of the Bankruptcy Commission.

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